Help me build/ figure out my media server/htpc - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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I built a small computer for storing all my music, photos and videos and I want to hook it up to my 65" panny plasma. I have tried for countless hours to run dnla with Serviio, mezzmo, tversity, windows media player, ect ect ect and every single one is giving me issues with stuttering, audio and everything else so I want to hook it up direct via hdmi. The thing is, I want to leave the computer next to my main computer so I can use a kvm switch and do maintenance and everything in the office. So here is what I am thinking...

I need to run a 20' flat hi speed hdmi under the carpet to my Denon 2112 receiver and then to the tv. I would really like to have the computer remote controlled from the front room. I need to buy a 210 graphics card with the hdmi out as well. I installed XBMC and I LOVE the interface so I will try to stick with that.

My concerns are:

1. Some places are saying that 20 feet is too long for a hi hdmi run and it may not carry 7.1 sound. (I see that they sell 25' 4K/3d/7.1 surround certified flat hdmi so I would think I would be ok)

2. I see all kinds of windows media remotes but they all look to be ir (line of sight) and my office is NOT in the line of sight with my tv viewing area.Could I run a really long usb extender with the flat hdmi to hook up the remote receiver next to the tv? Would a cool harmony/other brand programmable remote control the computer as well as my other stuff?

3. Would leaving the xbmc program on all the time while I am doing other stuff hurt anything? My wife has a big issue with me using "Another computer" in our house, I need her to think that this is a nas device or something, I don't want the tv to fire up and see a windows desktop. LOL

4. Am I missing any thing hardware wise? Any suggestions on a remote that can do what I need or am I looking at this whole thing wrong?

Here is my stuff.
Media/htpc Computer: Dual core 6850 3.0 intel, 2 gigs ram, 2 tb hard drive, windows home premium 64 bit
TV: Panasonic tc-65st30
Receiver: Denon AVR 2112ci
Thanks in advance for any help
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post

I built a small computer for storing all my music, photos and videos and I want to hook it up to my 65" panny plasma. I have tried for countless hours to run dnla with Serviio, mezzmo, tversity, windows media player, ect ect ect and every single one is giving me issues with stuttering, audio and everything else so I want to hook it up direct via hdmi. The thing is, I want to leave the computer next to my main computer so I can use a kvm switch and do maintenance and everything in the office. So here is what I am thinking...

I need to run a 20' flat hi speed hdmi under the carpet to my Denon 2112 receiver and then to the tv. I would really like to have the computer remote controlled from the front room. I need to buy a 210 graphics card with the hdmi out as well. I installed XBMC and I LOVE the interface so I will try to stick with that.

My concerns are:

1. Some places are saying that 20 feet is too long for a hi hdmi run and it may not carry 7.1 sound. (I see that they sell 25' 4K/3d/7.1 surround certified flat hdmi so I would think I would be ok)

2. I see all kinds of windows media remotes but they all look to be ir (line of sight) and my office is NOT in the line of sight with my tv viewing area.Could I run a really long usb extender with the flat hdmi to hook up the remote receiver next to the tv? Would a cool harmony/other brand programmable remote control the computer as well as my other stuff?

3. Would leaving the xbmc program on all the time while I am doing other stuff hurt anything? My wife has a big issue with me using "Another computer" in our house, I need her to think that this is a nas device or something, I don't want the tv to fire up and see a windows desktop. LOL

4. Am I missing any thing hardware wise? Any suggestions on a remote that can do what I need or am I looking at this whole thing wrong?

Here is my stuff.
Media/htpc Computer: Dual core 6850 3.0 intel, 2 gigs ram, 2 tb hard drive, windows home premium 64 bit
TV: Panasonic tc-65st30
Receiver: Denon AVR 2112ci
Thanks in advance for any help

1. 20 feet is a non issue. I have successful runs of 50 ft and 60 ft with no issues on onkyo and denon receivers.

2. Harmony RF but the range is limited and working through walls can create reliability issues here. Other options include a smartphone or tablet for the remote. Constellation on IOS is excellent.

3. I have no idea what you mean. If you use your XBMC rig for work you cant work and watch XBMC at the same time.

4. The CPU should be fast enough to software decode but I dont know. You dont list a GPU so I guess your not using one. you should be able to answer this question yourself. if It plays your content your good. if not, then time to consider why.

The problem with this scenario I see is I can build a 2nd HTPC better than what you have for less money than the RF Harmony remote costs. so why bother spending more money and getting less.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I understand that I cant run xbmc while doing other things, I just wanted it to stay up while not doing anything but researching seems to be fine with laving it on. I am using the mobos onboard graphics for now but I am getting ready to order an evga 210 card or similar entry card with HDMI out. I was hoping to get a cheap ebay harmony remote but I will investigate further. I think I am on the right track, just needed some reassurance and direction. Thank you Sean!
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post

I understand that I cant run xbmc while doing other things, I just wanted it to stay up while not doing anything but researching seems to be fine with laving it on. I am using the mobos onboard graphics for now but I am getting ready to order an evga 210 card or similar entry card with HDMI out. I was hoping to get a cheap ebay harmony remote but I will investigate further. I think I am on the right track, just needed some reassurance and direction. Thank you Sean!


I can't comprehend why you want it to stay up.

when your done working you have to restore it anyway. If you want to bog your machine down and make it run slower than feel free. XBMC consumes lot of CPU doing nothing.

No such thing is cheap RF harmony. Again I can build a superfast HTPC way better than yours for less money than a Harmony 900.

you might want to consider that route. I think your current RF remote control strategy is recipe for unhappy wife IMO.

so stupid question. If you can run a 20ft HDMI why can't run a 20ft USB Cable and just put the IR erceiver by the TV? Then you can use a cheapo harmony.

monpoprice even makes active USB boosters for long USB runs just like this. I have one sitting here in my parts bin from a previous printer that was located far from the server it was connected to. worked well.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 08:56 AM
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1. Really long HDMI cables can be a problem for some equipment. Sometimes (expensive) HDMI repeaters are needed. Some people resort to (even more expensive) HDMI/Cat5 or /Cat6 cable adapters. But 20 ft should be OK if the cable is certified "high speed".

2. FWIW, you can also get IR --> RF, RF --> IR units so you can use an IR remote in one room with IR controlled equipment in another room. There still can be RF-through-the-walls attenuation problems depending on building architecture and distance.

3. In principle, if it's running on its own computer, you should be able to add XBMC to the startup script so the viewer never sees the Windows desktop. Someone here should be able to help with that: I've never done it. Also, most systems with HDMI treat it as a second display. Windows can be configured so that the desktop is always on the other display.

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post #6 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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very cool to know! I was looking at this cable on ebay. It's easy to find 25 footers but the 20 footers seem to be less common. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aurum-Flat-H...item5ae37a316b

I was checking out the ir ,rf extenders and that may be the way to go. Thanks for the info, I think this is going to be cool! My computer monitor is hd 1920X1200 and everything looks awesome so I can only hope that once I get the video card, it will look that great on the tv! I forgot about the card using the display as a second monitor, that will be sweet! Thanks for helping me out you guys!
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 10:15 AM
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You're very welcome. Most enthusiasts here are anxious to spread the hifi addition to as many victims as possible, although sometimes we do get a little carried away.

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post #8 of 13 Old 05-19-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post

very cool to know! I was looking at this cable on ebay. It's easy to find 25 footers but the 20 footers seem to be less common. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aurum-Flat-H...item5ae37a316b

I was checking out the ir ,rf extenders and that may be the way to go. Thanks for the info, I think this is going to be cool! My computer monitor is hd 1920X1200 and everything looks awesome so I can only hope that once I get the video card, it will look that great on the tv! I forgot about the card using the display as a second monitor, that will be sweet! Thanks for helping me out you guys!

Below is the only place most of us here ever buy cables:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...09&cp_id=10240

and to selden, yes people often have problems with 40+ foot lenghts never heard of an issue at 25ft. no need for repeaters or balun setups over CAT6 at those distances. but there are always exceptions.

XBMC as a shell is described in the manual (wiki) here.....
http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title...8as_a_shell%29

still dont think you need any IR/RF just a 20ft USB cable.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-20-2012, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I found a cheap remote that also comes with a long ir cord to go under the carpet. I was looking at graphics cards now and I am worried that the 210 may not be enough. I am also looking at a GT240 or a gt610. I want to keep it Nvidea. I need to keep it cheap and I don't want to put to much stress on my little cpu. Any thought about what video card to get that will be stutter free and play 3d content and br rips/hd content?
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-20-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post

I found a cheap remote that also comes with a long ir cord to go under the carpet. I was looking at graphics cards now and I am worried that the 210 may not be enough. I am also looking at a GT240 or a gt610. I want to keep it Nvidea. I need to keep it cheap and I don't want to put to much stress on my little cpu. Any thought about what video card to get that will be stutter free and play 3d content and br rips/hd content?

any! the CPU will play BD all by itself with no help from the GPU at all.
Test it now and it will work fine on that CPU.

Any cheapo card with HDMI will work. playing 1080p video is not that hard.

BTW: There is a whole HTPC section here on AVS.
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-20-2012, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually, I am using the built in display on the mobo and I am getting stuttering on some HD materiaL. I need a card with hdmi out anyways. Didnt even realize about the htpc section. Thanks. I will try running a long usb and the ir line above carpet first and se which on works better. I ended up just buying a cheap windows media remote that Xbmc supports. I got worried cause it looks like some video cards won't send full 7.1 master/lossless whatever audio through the hdmi.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-21-2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agent8 View Post

Actually, I am using the built in display on the mobo and I am getting stuttering on some HD materiaL. I need a card with hdmi out anyways. Didnt even realize about the htpc section. Thanks. I will try running a long usb and the ir line above carpet first and se which on works better. I ended up just buying a cheap windows media remote that Xbmc supports. I got worried cause it looks like some video cards won't send full 7.1 master/lossless whatever audio through the hdmi.

XBMC doesn't send full lossless 7.1 yet anyway. THere is lot more to this than meets the eye and all this has already been outlined in great detail by thousands of users in the HTPC section.

if you want reliable Lossless audio then I would recommend a Dune D1 or something similar.

You have decide what tradeoffs you want to make. you can run some alpha level XBMC software and try bitstreaming but thats up to you.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-21-2012, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Good to know. I will head over to the htpc threads and research some more. Thanks!
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